Here, I’ve used fresh cranberries in a fabulous side dish that is guaranteed to complement any Christmas roast. It would work very well with turkey but also beef, lamb or chicken. I love this recipe because it combines the best parts of all the usual festive side dishes – crunchy greens, crispy bacon, sage and cranberries, but in a slightly different and unusual way.
One of my favourite things about the run up to Christmas is, obviously, the cooking. Specifically, though, I love finding new and unusual ways of using those festive seasonal ingredients that grace our shelves for only a short period of the year.
Cranberries are one of the most criminally underrated of all ingredients. The humble cranberry has a huge amount of culinary potential. If you start to think of it like a raisin, or a pomegranate seed, you begin to realize just how useful it can be in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes. They have a beautiful sharpness about them that is fabulous with all sorts of rich ingredients like meat or cheese.
I’ve also used cavolo nero, one of my absolute favourite seasonal vegetables for its beautiful dark green wavy leaves and delicious, slightly bitter crunch. You could, however, use spring greens or kale if you can’t find it. The resulting dish is a sweet and sour medley of greens with addictive flavours in every bite: salty, smoky bacon; fragrant sage; those tart berries and earthy onions. You could even serve it on its own with some good cheese or some roasted chestnuts as a light main course. Give those cranberries a new lease of life; you might just find this becomes your go-to festive side dish!